Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-06-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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LINCOLN – A band of fairies and other mystical creatures which have, according to local legend, long lived within a hollow tree at Lincoln's Fairlawn Park, have been evicted. All that remains of their former home is a stump, outfitted with a small wooden door at its base. The tree was removed as part of an ongo- ing $400,000 renovation project at the park. Joe McNiff, of Fairlawn, said he was sad to see the tree cut down, recalling fondly his grandchildren's belief in the magical beings that occupied it. "The door in the tree is something we brought our grandkids to see, and other neighbors have brought their kids to see over the years," McNiff said. When his oldest granddaughter Grace Major, 18, was a child, she received an anonymous note written by a friend of her grandmother Carol, that tipped her off to the existence of the fairy tree. Grace later shared the magical secret with her younger sis- ters, Abby, now 11, and Lily, now 9. "A note with fairy dust showed up mysteriously one day," McNiff said. Other families have brought their children and grandchildren to the tree over the years, crafting their own stories about the magical inhabitants behind the tiny door. "It sparked their imagination," McNiff said. He said he hopes the door will be moved to another tree in a local park, noting that the fairies have been ren- dered homeless. "Someone went through a lot of trouble to put that door in the tree," he said. Former Parks and Recreation Director Paul Prachniak, who retired in 2016 after 38 years on the job, said the door was built "as an invitation to use our imaginations" with help from Kevin Bradford. The door just JOE MCNIFF, of Lincoln, leans against what's left of the former "fairy tree" at Fairlawn Park, a special location to him and his grandchildren that was recently cut down as part of ongoing renovations at the park. According to local legend, a door in the base of the tree allows passage into a system of tunnels used by fairies, leprechauns, elves and other mystical creatures. All that remains now is the stump. BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Magical creatures seek new home as fairy tree cut down in Lincoln By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com See FAIRY, Page 14 See BUDGET, Page 23 See POLICE, Page 32 CUMBERLAND – If school leaders' goal in sending layoff notices to entire departments was to inspire impassioned crowds at budget hearings over the past week, they certainly succeeded, say town officials. But in the end, said Mayor Jeff Officials closing Cumberland's budget gap By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com LINCOLN – Tensions between Twin River officials and members of the Lincoln Police Department are on the rise after officers stopped showing up for detail duty at the casino. Until about a month ago, Lincoln police logged 240 hours a week Amid conflict, police no longer doing security at Twin River NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com ©2019 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Serving Cumberland and Lincoln Breeze THE VALLEY FREE JUNE 6-12, 2019 Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. 144 Broad Street, Cumberland, RI 02864 401-724-8650 VFCRI.com FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED SINCE 1986 "Floors You Love, Service You Expect" FINANCING AVAILABLE* *For qualified customers. See store for details. Now carrying Anderson Tuftex and COREtec ® the Original

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